2013 TAS Editors' Choice Awards: Disc Players Under $2000

Equipment report
Disc players,
Multi-format disc players
2013 TAS Editors' Choice Awards: Disc Players Under $2000

Teac Reference PD-H600
Sitting atop Teac’s Reference Series, the PD-H600 borrows premium touches from the company’s superb Esoteric brand. “Open,” and “easy” are words that describe this gem, which is immediately engaging, surprisingly transparent, and refined in over-all character and tonal balance. The bottom end is powerful and tuneful; it renders a fine sense of a hall’s depth and breadth; and itnever sounds “digital” in the bad sense of the word.

Marantz SA8004
Tonally neutral, musically authoritative and natural, with just a hint of warmth, this two‑channel SACD/ CD player is just about as seductive a component as you could want, especially at its price, which feels like a giveaway. The SA8004 is a music lover’s dream for those who favor classical, traditional pop, jazz, folk, world, and any other music with voices and acoustic instruments. The 8004 also features limited music‑server and Internet functions.

Oppo BDP-95
Oppo has taken a quantum step forward in sonic sophistication with the BDP-95 universal/Blu-ray player. The player’s audio section provides exotic, dual 8-channel ESS Sabre 32-bit Reference DACs supported by purist-grade analog circuitry and a stout power supply. The resulting sound is highly detailed, surprisingly smooth, effortlessly threedimensional, and rich in subtlety and nuance. Not just “good for the money,” the BDP-95 is just plain good.

Simaudio Moon 260D
Simaudio’s wonderful-sounding Moon 260D (formerly i-1) CD player boasts outstanding buildquality in a simple-to-operate package that delivers huge value. Musicality is the name of the game here. The player delivers a pleasingly warm tonality that’s absolutely free of any glaze or hash. At the same time, detail is terrific, and dynamics, both large- and small-scale, are outstanding, resulting in natural rhythmic flow and high listener engagement.

Cambridge 851C
This replacement for Cambridge’s smash hit, the 840C, adds updated technologies and new features to a technology platform that includes a custom digital filter from Anagram Technologies (the same one that is found in mega-priced DACs), a heavy-duty, custom disc-transport mechanism, and dual-differential DACs. With multiple digital inputs (including USB) and a variable output, the 851C can function as a complete digital hub. The 851C’s sonic signature differs from that of the 840C, with a lively and incisive rendering, terrific bass and dynamics, and great transparency. Not as smooth and relaxed as the 840C, but a lot of technology and performance for the money.

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